Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

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Coming soon

Over the course of the next few months, the content of this site will expand rapidly.

Among the topics we aim to cover, are the governance structures of EU maritime law, inland waterway transport, rules applying to seafarers, trade regulations, security issues, port regulations and competion law.

Shipping contributes to greenhouse gases much less than other means of transport, but is still requested to reduce CO2 emissions where possible. An IMO website summaries the challenge and the steps taken to tackle it. The EU is including emission from shipping in its “climate action” policy. Two websites provide rich sources of information:

In December 2014, the Council of the European Union reached a political agreement on the regulation setting out new EU-wide rules for monitoring, reporting and verification of CO2 emissions from ships. The new rules will cover CO2 emissions from ships above 5000 gross tons. Warships, naval auxiliaries, fish catching or processing ships, wooden ships of a primitive build, ships not propelled by mechanical means and government ships used for non-commercial purposes will be excluded from these measures. The regulation, once formally adopted, is to enter into force on 1 July 2015.


International law

MARPOL, Annex VIa, Chapter 4: “Regulations on energy efficiency for ships”

Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI): More about this is on

IMO Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships

IMO Agreement on CO2 Technical Rules: Shipping and

IMO on Low carbon shipping and air pollution control



Directive (EU) 2016/2284 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 December 2016 on the reduction of national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants, amending Directive 2003/35/EC and repealing Directive 2001/81/EC

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/2072 of 22 September 2016 on the verification activities and accreditation of verifiers pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/757 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon dioxide emissions from maritime transport. PDF

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1927 of 4 November 2016 on templates for monitoring plans, emissions reports and documents of compliance pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/757 of the European Parliament and of the Council on monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon dioxide emissions from maritime transport. PDF



The EMSA has a web site specifically about the challenges posed by emission of greenhouse gases.


Statements of EU Institutions

European Commission 28.10.2016 “Commission welcomes progress at international level to tackle maritime emissions”

European Commission on the 70th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 70) at the International Maritime Organization (IMO)

EU Joint Research Centre 5.5.2016: “Shipping sector emissions: alternative fuels for marine and inland waterways transport”

Commission 10.2.1016: “Commission and International Maritime Organisation to work together for safer and greener shipping”. Today EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc received Mr Kitack Lim, newly appointed Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The Commission and the IMO share the commitment to a safe and secure shipping sector.  Today's meeting offered the first opportunity for both parties to exchange views on some priority files, such as the decarbonisation of maritime transport. Building on the momentum of the COP21 agreement in Paris, the Commission is advocating ambitious global measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping. In 2016, the Commission will work towards the adoption at IMO level of a mandatory system to globally collect and report emissions from ships. Other matters on today's agenda were passenger ships safety and trade facilitation, where the Commission intends to work together with IMO to promote quality shipping and unlock the full potential of maritime transport.

Council of the European Union, 17.12.2014: "Monitoring of CO2 emissions from ships: the Council reaches a political agreement"

Commission 19.1.2012: MEMO/12/19 “Commission launches consultation to address greenhouse gas emissions from ships”

Commission 28.6.2011: IP/11/797 “Reducing greenhouse gases from ships: time is ticking away”

Commission 20.12.2010: IP/10/1747 “Reducing emissions from shipping: Commission's Joint Research Centre sets out some options”

Commission 13.9.2010: IP/10/1117 “Marine Knowledge 2020: A better understanding of our seas and oceans to boost competitiveness and growth”


Written Questions by Members of the European Parliament (rule 117)

Written Question “Developing biofuels used in shipping” with answer by Commissioner Arias Cañete of 12.12.2016

Written Question “Reducing NOx emissions in maritime transport” with answer by Commissioner Vella of 2.9.2016

Written Question “Reducing NOx emissions caused by maritime transport in the Atlantic” with answer by Commissioner Vella of 23.8.2016

Written Question “Emissions from cruise ships in the Baltic” with answer by Commission Bulc of 6.1.2016

Written Question E-853/2012 by Laurence J.A.J. Stassen: “EU wants to make the shipping sector pay for CO2 emissions too” with answer by Commissioner Hedegaard of 12.3.2012.

Written Question E-8458/2011 by Spyros Danellis: “Shipping efficiency and carbon emissions” with answer by Commissioner Kallas of 31.10.2011.

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